This past summer, fellow mountain biker and uber volunteer Bill Nelson used his Ford Tractor to help CROCT, our local mountain bike club, fashion various obstacles in our new skills park area along our Sechler Park mountain bike trail. I soon became his apprentice operator and it inspired me to take on the role of skills park ‘dirt boss’ for the trail. More details and skills park photos in this CROCT blog post.
I’m a member of the CROCT Board here in Rice County MN and after witnessing the speed of vehicle traffic on the recently reopened Sechler Road (it’s closed to vehicles during the winter months), we made a quick decision last week to remove the ditch crossing bridge that we installed recently and reroute the trail directly over the creek prior to the gate at the north entrance to the park, keeping riders completely away from the road/pavement.
The creek crossing required a bigger bridge than the one we used for the ditch so the two bridges that a crew of CROCT volunteers fashioned from the wood of the old Mill Towns Trail bridge were put into service:
Last Tuesday, CROCT member John Ebling used his tractor to transport the bridges to the shoulder of Sechler Road near the creek crossings:
Peter Hark is a resident of rural Northfield, the DNR’s Field Operations Manager State Parks and Trails, and a Founding Supporter of CROCT. He joined me and Marty Larson on his first ride on the Sechler Park MTB trail on Wednesday, a day off for him because it was his birthday. He seemed to enjoy the ride and was complementary on what he saw. For a relatively new mountain biker, he’s not half-bad, and if he got a proper mountain bike with better tires he would definitely be more than marginally adequate.
The day I rediscovered mountain biking also happened to be the day I met John Gaddo (AKA ‘El Gato’). It was the grand opening weekend of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails back in June of 2011 and he was chauffeuring Hans “No way” Rey around, one of his many duties as a QBP staffer. I happened to be at a Crosby, MN pub when he and Hans came in for beers and dinner with Gary Sjoquist, Advocacy Director for QBP and Jeff Verink, sales rep with GT Bicycles. John told me he grew up in my hometown of Northfield, was into bicycle trials, and we’ve been colleagues ever since.
I managed to squeeze in some decent singletrack winter riding on my 29’er last week before the spring thaw hit. The trails were packed hard and the traction was amazing.
On Thursday afternoon, I rode everything at MORC’s Lebanon Hills MTB Park:
including my favorite rock in the skills park: